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Upgrade aimed at Greendale flood protection

An upgraded pumping station in Greendale was identified as a key priority following a devastating flood in 2008. - JENNA HAUCK/ PROGRESS FILE
An upgraded pumping station in Greendale was identified as a key priority following a devastating flood in 2008.
— image credit: JENNA HAUCK/ PROGRESS FILE

A big upgrade planned for the Collinson Pump Station might have residents of Greendale heaving a sigh of relief.

City of Chilliwack got the news this week of federal and provincial funding coming down the pike for a $2.5 million pump station upgrade as part of the city’s flood protection plan.

The Collinson Pump Station is near the city dike system, pumping water from the lower elevation areas into the Vedder Canal, which will protect the community from flooding from the Fraser River and Vedder River.

The pump station upgrade was the highest priority project that a consulting engineer identified in a drainage study, in the wake of the unique January 2009 flooding event in Greendale which caused devastating damage. During the flooding, about 230 mm of rainfall was recorded over four days, along with rapid snow melt over frozen ground.

The 2010 drainage study concluded several factors were at play, and not just one reason why the drainage system failed. It said $10 million to $19 million in improvements were required for enhanced drainage and flood protection.

“The upgrade project will increase the pumping capacity of the station to ensure protection against a 1:100 year rainfall or flood event,” according to the press release.

The funds will pay for bigger pumps and electrical motors for Collinson Pump Station, that will significantly increase the capacity.

Diesel generators will also mean pump protection in the event of a power outage. So if power from the electrical grid was ever lost in a storm event, the stand-by generators could be fired up.

Chilliwack reps indicated they are pleased that senior governments recognize flood protection is critical in Chilliwack.

“The long-term protection of our flood prevention infrastructure is an important priority,” said Mayor Sharon Gaetz, “and we look forward to working with all levels of government to ensure our residents, livestock and infrastructure are protected from future flood events.”

The total cost of the Collinson Pump Station upgrade is estimated at $2.5 million. Federal and provincial grants of $1,666,666 are a substantial contribution to the overall project cost. Upgrades will start in late May 2014, with an estimated completion date of early 2015.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Twitter.com/chwkjourno

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